DULUTH, Minn. - It was just one of those nights for the defending national champions.
After striking for the game's final four goals to force a tie in Friday's Western Collegiate Hockey series opener, Michigan Tech University did all the scoring in a 5-0 victory over the top-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth Saturday night. A sellout crowd of 6,776 was on hand at AMSOIL Arena as the Huskies (12-12-2 overall and 9-7-2 in the WCHA) handed the Bulldogs (17-5-4; 11-4-3) their first shutout loss in 105 league games.
In a complete reversal of the first period Friday night, Michigan Tech jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the defending NCAA champions. UMD was unable to sustain pressure on offense and came up empty on both of its power play chances while having its a nine-game home unbeaten streak snapped.
Senior goaltender Kenny Reiter made his 21st consecutive WCHA start in goal - dating back to last season - but was lifted prior to the start of the second period after stopping 10 of 14 shots. Sophomore Aaron Crandall made 17 saves and allowed just one goal (by Tanner Kero 40 seconds into the third period) in relief of Reiter. Josh Robinson made 29 starts en route to becoming the first goaltender to blank UMD since the University of North Dakota's Jean-Philippe Lamoureux recorded a 2-0 triumph on March 1, 2008 in Duluth.
"When you don't put forth the effort and get outworked for 60 minutes, that's unacceptable," Bulldog head coach Scott Sandelin said. "They were hungrier, they won every battle and we didn't put up the fight."
Michigan Tech, which also got first-period goals from Brett Olson, Blake Pietala, David Johnstone and Jacob Johnstone, went 2-for-4 on the power play while UMD had just two opportunities with the man advantage. The Huskies came into the night having gone unbeaten against the Bulldogs in their last eight matchups (0-7-1).
UMD will hit the road for a two-game WCHA set next weekend at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.